Below are some additional interactions on the article: Connecting Up. Read it first.
Sometimes finding a mentor can be hard, but scripture does help us out in this area. Check out Matthew 7:15–20:
Be on your guard against false prophets; they come to you looking like sheep on the outside, but on the inside they are really like wild wolves. You will know them by what they do. Thorn bushes do not bear grapes, and briers do not bear figs. A healthy tree bears good fruit, but a poor tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a poor tree cannot bear good fruit. And any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire. So then, you will know the false prophets by what they do.
That passage is taken right out of Jesus’ sermon on the mount. We can recognize a person who is following Christ because their fruit will be good! But… fruit? When we turn to Galatians 5:22–23, we see what Jesus was talking about,
But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these.
Some translations like NIV say, “but the fruit of the Spirit produces…” Those are things to look for in a person’s life when seeking a mentor. See! It doesn’t have to be too hard!
Sometimes finding a mentor can be hard! Here are some things I thought about when looking for a mentor after Ann moved.
- What do I need from a mentor, personality wise?
For me, I wanted someone who would be honest with me and a little in my face when I was doing something silly. Other things may be, someone who is more compassionate, someone who will cry with you, someone who will run around with you, be active when your talking or something else.
- What do I want a mentor to be willing to talk to me about? Maybe you want someone who will talk to you about family, school, faith, relationships or maybe you need someone to talk about the divorce your parents went through or Dad being on active duty. These are just good things to think about ahead of time so that your time together can have purpose. It may also help you figure out who you want to ask.
- Does this person actually have time to mentor you? There are lots of well-intentioned people, but sometimes they just don’t actually have time for another commitment. For example, I asked a person to mentor me and every time it was time to meet, they had to reschedule. After this happened five times I was back on the search for someone else. They really wanted to, we did meet a handful of times, but there was too much going on in their life at the time.
- Is this person old enough to be your mentor? Generally, you want to ask someone who is a life stage or two ahead of you because they will have experience going through and figuring out what you are facing now.
- Is this person in a growing relationship with Christ themselves? Are you able to see that they are growing in their own life? As you continue on in life if you call yourself a Christ Follower, it is wise to also have a mentor who is pursuing Christ because then they should also be leading you in a direction Christ would lead you.
- Do you actually get along with, respect and look forward to seeing this person? It may sound silly or obvious, but sometimes it isn’t. These things are important when looking for a mentor because hopefully you will develop a long-term relationship with them.
- Are you ready to commit to a mentoring relationship? This may be one of the most important questions to ask yourself, because honestly, if you’re not ready, you’re wasting their time. You’re asking this person a favor, to spend time with you and teach you. They don’t have to, but my guess is they would be honored to. Don’t be rude and waste their time if you’re not ready. It’s okay if you’re not right now, but be honest with yourself and when you’re ready, look at these questions again.
Sometimes Mentors come out of nowhere and last only for a second. They come into our lives, spill truth and leave us thinking about it.
This is what I think about when I think about last summer. I was in a new place, didn’t know anyone and was feeling a little defensive. Not really threatened but just protective of myself. I didn’t know anyone! I was the only one who was going to protect me and I had to be careful.
Well… as you can imagine God was about to teach me something. I was walking around, minding my own business when this guy comes up to me and basically says, “You know you’re not alone right? God is with you, always. Even here.”
I like to think of myself as a tough cookie, someone who can take care of themselves. I almost burst into tears right there. It was just the message I needed to hear. God knew and this man took a risk, followed God’s prompting and gave me a great gift. Truth. Truth I needed to hear right then.
I haven’t really talked to this guy since, but I’ll remember that truth he shared with me the rest of my life.
1 Corinthians 11:1—Here Paul tells the people of Corinth to follow his example, just as he follows the example of Christ.
Proverbs 13:20—The Bible tell us that when we seek wisdom from others, we will continue to grow; when we don’t though, it can cause us more pain. We seek wisdom to make better decisions.
Proverbs 27:17—Working together helps us to be smarter about the things that we do, way that we live, and choices that we make.
2 Timothy 2:2—Sometimes mentoring is as simple as teaching others good things!
Psalm 18:19—God will always be there to rescue us. Sometimes he does it in ways that we don’t expect—through other people.
Small Group Guide:
Large Group Guide:
Go back and read Psalm 18:19. How has God rescued you in the past? Do you trust God to be there for you? What’s holding you back or helps you to trust? Write these things out. Pray over them. Ask God to help you see him better, see his provision better and to guide you.
Make a list of how you could be a mentor to some younger person? No matter your age, there are people who see you and look up to you. Sometimes being a mentor can be as simple as living according to God’s word, setting a good example and being open for others to ask you questions.
Make a list of five people you think may make a good mentor for you. Think over it and pray over it. How will finding a mentor help you to keep growing?
Today, what will you do to start finding a mentor for yourself? Write it down, share these things with a friend and take action today. Ask on of the five people form the list above if they would consider mentoring you.
Mentors inspire us. Sometimes our mentors start off as just someone we really look up to, but they can become so much more than that! Who has inspired you, shaped you, changed who you are? Have you ever told them the impact they have had on your life? Do it! Ask them to mentor you, or at least meet with you once or twice so you can keep learning. Maybe you can’t anymore, but you can share their story with those around you.